Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukhay-For The Gain of The Many and For The Welfare of The Many
23 Uttar Pradesh officials face criminal cases
4 Nov, 2007, 1556 hrs IST, IANS
LUCKNOW: As many as 23 officials of the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA), including its former vice chairman, are in the dock for alleged large-scale irregularities in allotment of plots and payments against fake billing.
According to official sources, criminal cases have been registered against LDA’s former vice chairman B.N. Singh, former secretary R B Yadav, chief engineer D R Yadav, financial controller Mohan Yadav and 19 others for alleged financial bungling during the regime of former chief minister Mulayam Singh, who was voted out of power in May.
Over a dozen contractors are also facing the music because they allegedly raised fake bills.
This follows an inquiry carried out by Lucknow Divisional Commissioner Vijay Shankar Pandey, who indicted Singh and his associates for making payments of millions of rupees against fake documents.
“This is only a tip of the iceberg,” remarked Pandey, who is known to be a no-nonsense hard taskmaster.
He said: “As many as 1,100 files were under scrutiny and each file appears to be a can of worms, exposing major irregularities not only in allotments but also in approval of building plans, award of contracts, payments, etc.”
His report clearly points out that undue payments were made against various construction jobs that were, in fact, never undertaken.
The officials have been booked for “embezzlement of government funds, making false entries in government records, fraud and criminal conspiracy besides certain provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act”.
SC issues notice to Mulayam, Amar
Indo-Asian News Service
Friday, November 2, 2007 (New Delhi)
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh and 26 others on a plea by the state government to prosecute them for wrongly misappropriating residential plots in the upscale Gomati Nagar area in Lucknow.
A bench of Justice CK Thakar and Justice Altmas Kabir also issued notice to Yadav’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav and several other political bigwigs and bureaucrats, including former chief minister’s special secretary Anita Singh and principal secretary Anil Kumar.
The Uttar Pradesh government had approached the court for permission to launch prosecution in the case as it was seized of the matter through a public interest petition filed by a Congress leader Vishvanath Chaturvedi.
The petition had demanded cancellation of the illegal allotment in 2005 of the plots to the politicians and the bureaucrats and the court had earlier restrained the Lucknow Development Authority from transferring these.
Following a hue and cry in the media, Yadav had ordered a judicial probe. But the judicial commission headed by a former high court judge never completed the probe despite getting three extensions of six months each for the job.
After a change in the government in the state, new Chief Minister Mayawati handed over the responsibility of the probe to Lucknow Division’s Commissioner Vijay Shankar Pandey.
Pandey completed his probe on September 25, 2007 and concluded that the state was defrauded of a sum of nearly Rs 29 million owing to illegal allotment of plots, and recommended prosecution of several government officials.
Pandey also sought prosecution of the politicians and bureaucrats who were illegally allotted the plots.
UP govt moves SC to prosecute Mulayam in land scam case
3 Nov, 2007, 0054 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday sought permission of the Supreme Court to initiate criminal prosecution against Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, party general secretary Amar Singh and others in illegal allotment of plots in a prime locality of state capital.
The Mayawati government in an application sought liberty to initiate criminal action against Mr Mulayam and others on the basis of a report submitted by Lucknow district commissioner Vijay Shankar Pandey. According to the report, the plots were allotted to the 28 beneficiaries by the Mulayam government illegally and in a fraudulent manner.
Advocate Shail Kumar Dwivedi appearing for the state government submitted before a bench comprising Justice C K Thakker and Justice Altamas Kabir, “we (UP government) want to act upon the recommendations made by the Vijay Shankar Pandey committee”. It is in the public interest to act upon its recommendations, said the state counsel.
The committee in its report had said criminal FIR should be registered against the guilty in the case. The report had also said all allotments in the areas should be cancelled at once as those were made in violation of the prescribed norms. It had also recommended departmental action against the concerned Lucknow Development Authority officials.
The state counsel said the apex court order was coming in the way. Against the backdrop of public interest and willingness of the government to proceed in the mater, the apex court order should be modified, pleaded Mr Dwivedi.
The apex court in its September 2005 order had said no transfer would be effected in the allotted land at Gomati Nagar. The court, during the hearing of the case, asked the government what was the urgency in the matter.
The state counsel said it was in the public interest. The court then issued notices to Mulayam Singh, Amar Singh and others seeking replies as to why the plea of government should not be entertained. Besides, Mr Mulayam and Mr Singh, the apex court also sought response from C Rawath, father-in-law of Mulayam’s son Akhilesh Yadav, Anita Singh, then special secretary and 28 others. land allotees.
Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Sunday, Nov 04, 2007
It’s official: elephant rules the roost in Uttar Pradesh
A jumbo reserve under ‘Project Elephant’ is to be set up soon in the State
U.P. is home to a migratory elephant population which shifts to Uttarakhand
Incidentally, the elephant is the election symbol of the ruling BSP in the State
LUCKNOW: After Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve under Project Elephant is to be set up soon in Uttar Pradesh The proposal, aimed at protecting the elephants in the State, is on the threshold of being implemented following a meeting between the Director of Project Elephant, A.N. Prasad, and senior forest officials here over the weekend.
Incidentally, the elephant is the election symbol of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party in the State.
A 744 square kilometres area in Saharanpur and Bijnore districts of western UP is to be notified as Elephant Reserve area in the State. The reserve will incorporate four forest areas of the Social Forestry Division in Bijnore district, a substantial part of the Najibabad forest range in Bijnore, Amangarh range also in Bijnore, and part of the Shivalik forest range in Saharanpur district.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden D.N. Sinha Suman told The Hindu that two proposals for notifying the area had been sent to the Union Government. One related to reserving a 744 sq km area and the other to notify a 497 sq km area in Bijnore and Saharanpur districts.
In the proposed Elephant Reserve, the focus would be on protecting the habitat of the animal, keeping a close watch on them, ensuring their mobility and damage control related to man-animal conflict.
Following the creation of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh was home to a migratory elephant population which passes through the “Elephant Corridor” in Bijnore and Saharanpur districts. The corridor connects the Rajaji National Park in Dehra Dun district with the Jim Corbett National Park in Nainital district, both of which are now situated in Uttarakhand.
Even though the population of the tuskers is migratory in nature, UP has witnessed an upswing in their numbers with several of them preferring to stay on in the forests of Shivalik and Najibabad ranges. The need to declare an elephant reserve is attributed to the fairly large elephant population in UP.
According to the biennial census figures available with the State Forest Department, the number of tuskers in the Bijnore forest division in 2005 was 16. In 2007 the figure had gone up to 62. The Najibabad range reported 24 elephants in 2005. In 2007, their numbers have jumped up to 254. Explains Mr. Suman: “The quantum jump in the population of elephants in Najibabad was attributed to drying up of the main water source in Corbett National Park during the summers whereas the water source in Najibabad was maintained.”
The Shivalik forest range reported 29 tuskers in 2007. The figures for 2005 were not available.
But the elephants are not confined to the forests in the two western UP districts. The Dudhwa National Park in Lakhimpur Kheri district which is the main Tiger Reserve area in the State reported 28 elephants this year and another Tiger Reserve area, the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, reported seven tuskers in 2007. “The Dudhwa elephants migrated from Nepal and neighbouring Pilibhit district,” says the Chief Wildlife Warden.
After UP, BSP’s elephant targets Gujarat
Posted at Sunday, 04 November 2007 14:11 IST
New Delhi, Nov 4: After capturing Uttar Pradesh, BSP is targeting Narendra Modi-run Gujarat amid a declaration that the ‘elephant’ will go it alone in all Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
The BSP, which has ‘elephant’ as its election symbol, wants to replicate the UP experiment in Gujarat projecting itself as the ‘third alternative’ in the Assembly polls which has generally remained a BJP vs Congress affair.
“We want to spread the experiment from our Uttar Pradesh laboratory to various states and Gujarat is the first election after we captured Lucknow under the leadership of Mayawati,” senior party leader Gandhi Azad said.
Azad, who is in-charge of the Gujarat campaign, told reporters that the party wants to see Mayawati as the next Prime Minister on its own strength and was against any tie-ups in elections to various Assemblies and the Lok Sabha.
The BSP leader, who is a close associate of Mayawati, said that his party would use the same strategy in ticket distribution as in Uttar Pradesh and winnability would be the main criteria.
Two chappatis per day
4 Nov 2007, 0321 hrs IST,Freny Manecksha,TNN
Starvation deaths are headline grabbers. But when an entire community lives on the brink of starvation through the year it rarely merits a mention. One such group, the Musahars in Uttar Pradesh light their chula once a day, in the evening, and live on one meal.
Last month, when I visited a Musahar tola (settlement) of some 25 families in Barrachawar Block of Ghazipur in eastern UP, the families were waiting for the males—the only earning members—to return with the daily wages.
Rajmunna, one of the women explained, “We have no land. My family of eight is entirely dependent on daily wages of around Rs 10 to Rs 25. We eat two chappatis per head. A quarter kilo of dal must suffice for us all. Occasionally we get some vegetables like green peas that we make into a gravy.”
Rajmunna describes her chronic hunger as a “burning pit in the abdomen”. She is unable to walk any distance without getting breathless. Rinku, a teenager, is noticeably ill and has been diagnosed with TB of the bones. She has not received any treatment. The Musahars claim that a health worker makes the rounds but demands Rs 10 per injection.
Things get grimmer in August and September when there is low demand for agricultural labour. The chula is then lit once in two days. Basi (leftover) rotis are given to the children the next morning. “We have to give the children something to eat because if the hunger pangs get too much for them they run into the fields and gobble raw bhindi, which makes them ill,” says an elder, Ram Prasad Vanbasi. A 2003 study by a student of the Indian Institute of Rural Management found that 90 per cent of the Musahar children below six suffer from malnutrition. Tuberculosis and rheumatic fever are common.
There is no electricity in the tola. It gets waterlogged every monsoon forcing the families to shelter in the Block Development Office premises. Shifting their possessions is easy—all they own are string charpoys, kitchen utensils and a few tattered garments.
One of India’s most marginalised communities, the Musahars live largely on the banks of the Gandak and its tributaries in eastern UP and Bihar. They are believed to be tribals evicted when the British cleared forest lands. Small plots given in compensation were usurped by powerful landlords. A project conducted under the Poorest Area Civil Society programme (a development programme for India’s 100 poorest districts) found that 60 per cent of Musahars were landless. Others own waterlogged, infertile plots.
The origin of the community’s name is interesting. Some Musahars claim it is because they ate rats. But Ram Prasad Vanbasi said the name was given because of the tribe’s practice of ferreting out grain from rats’ burrows. They are often stigmatised because of this association with rats. Without tribal status, they have no rights to access forest produce. They are bhumeens (landless). Mechanisation of agriculture has meant fewer jobs.
On the day I visited Barrachawar the men had gone to trawl the ponds of a nearby village for a fruit called Ramdana, which they sell for Rs 40 per kilo. This kind of work is very labour-intensive. The Musahars social and political isolation was heightened when the British tagged them as a criminal community. In independent India they have remained vulnerable targets with the police forcing them to do begaar or forced labour.
Kapil Deo Kesri, a Dalit activist, of the Purvanchal Rural Development & Training Institute recalls how in 1996 several members of the community had been rounded up by the police on trumped-up charges and he had to intervene to get them released.Consequently, Musahars have a great fear of authority. This is why they find it difficult to get Below Poverty Line cards. Forced to away from upper-caste villages, Musahar children who attend school are made to sit separately.
Many do not even have the necessary papers to vote. An important landmark took place in May this year when, before the UP elections, two voluntary bodies—the Musahar Vikas Pahal and Musahar Manch—organised a dialogue between the voiceless community and different parties. All the candidates acknowledged the necessity of speedy land reforms to enable Musahars to earn a decent livelihood. But it will take much more that to help these ‘dalits of the dalits’ in a state ruled by a dalit chief minister.
He said that the BSP would contest all the 182 seats and the candidates would be a mix of upper castes, dalits, backwards and minorities.
Shrugging suggestions that BSP will have no political space in Gujarat having a bi-polar polity, he said that the BJP and Congress have for long practised the politics of “divide and rule” and the BSP is set to expose it.
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister would be campaigning in Gujarat around the first week of December, he said.
The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata
To the Plowing Bharadvaja
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Magadhans at Dakkhinagiri in the brahman village of Ekanala. Now at that time approximately 500 of the brahman Kasi Bharadvaja’s plows were yoked at the sowing time. Then, in the early morning, putting on his lower robe and taking his bowl & robes, the Blessed One went to where Kasi Bharadvaja was working. Now at that time Kasi Bharadvaja’s food-distribution was underway. so the Blessed One went to Kasi Bharadvaja’s food-distribution and, on arrival, stood to one side. Kasi Bharadvaja saw the Blessed One standing for alms, and on seeing him, said to him, “I, contemplative, plow & sow. Having plowed & sown, I eat. You, too, contemplative, should plow & sow. Having plowed & sown, you (will) eat.”
“I, too, brahman, plow & sow. Having plowed & sown, I eat.”
“But, contemplative, I don’t see the Master Gotama’s yoke or plow, plowshare, goad, or oxen, and yet the Master Gotama says this: ‘I, too, brahman, plow & sow. Having plowed & sown, I eat.’”
Then the Kasi Bharadvaja addressed the Blessed One with a verse:
You claim to be a plowman,
but I don’t see your plowing.
Being asked, tell us about your plowing
so that we may know your plowing.
Conviction is my seed,
austerity my rain,
discernment my yoke & plow,
conscience my pole,
mind my yoke-tie,
mindfulness my plowshare & goad.
Guarded in body,
guarded in speech,
restrained in terms of belly & food,
I make truth a weeding-hook,
and composure my unyoking.
Persistence, my beast of burden,
bearing me toward rest from the yoke,
takes me, without turning back,
to where, having gone,
one doesn’t grieve.
That’s how my plowing is plowed.
as its fruit
Having plowed this plowing
one is unyoked
from all suffering
Then Kasi Bharadvaja, having heaped up milk-rice in a large bronze serving bowl, offered it to the Blessed One, [saying,] “May Master Gotama eat [this] milk-rice. The master is a plowman, for the Master Gotama plows the plowing that has as its fruit the deathless.”
What’s been chanted over with verses
shouldn’t be eaten by me.
That’s not the nature, brahman,
of one who’s seen rightly.
What’s been chanted over with verses
Awakened Ones reject.
That being their nature, brahman,
this is their way of life.
Serve with other food & drink
a fully-perfected great seer,
his fermentations ended,
his anxiety stilled,
for that is the field
for one looking for merit.
“Then to whom, Master Gotama, should I give this milk-rice?”
“Brahman, I don’t see that person in this world — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, in this generation with its royalty & common people — by whom this milk-rice, having been eaten, would be rightly digested, aside from a Tathagata or a Tathagata’s disciple. In that case, brahman, throw the milk-rice away in a place without vegetation, or dump it in water with no living beings.”
So Kasi Bharadvaja dumped the milk-rice in water with no living beings. And the milk-rice, when dropped in the water, hissed & sizzled, seethed & steamed. Just as an iron ball heated all day, when tossed in the water, hisses & sizzles, seethes & steams, in the same way the milk-rice, when dropped in the water, hissed & sizzled, seethed & steamed.
Then Kasi Bharadvaja — in awe, his hair standing on end — went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, throwing himself down with his head at the Blessed One’s feet, said to him, “Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life. Let me obtain the going forth in Master Gotama’s presence, let me obtain admission.”
Then the brahman Kasi Bharadvaja obtained the going forth in the Blessed One’s presence, he obtained admission. And not long after his admission — dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute — he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the celibate life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: “Birth is ended, the celibate life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.” And so Ven. Bharadvaja became another one of the arahants.
Setting at Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Uppalavanna dressed… she stood at the foot of a sala tree in full flower.
Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the bhikkhuni Uppalavanna, desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:
Having gone to a sala tree with flowering top,
You stand at its foot all alone, bhikkhuni.
There is none whose beauty can rival your own:
Foolish girl, have you no fear of rogues?
Then it occurred to the bhikkhuni Uppalavanna: “Now who is this…? This is Mara the Evil One… desiring to make me fall away from concentration.”
Then the bhikkhuni Uppalavanna, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” replied to him in verses:
Though a hundred thousand rogues
Just like you might come here,
I stir not a hair, I feel no terror;
Even alone, Mara, I don’t fear you.
I can make myself disappear
Or I can enter inside your belly.
I can stand between your eyebrows
Yet you won’t catch a glimpse of me.
I am the master of my own mind,
The bases of power are well developed;
I am freed from every kind of bondage,
Therefore I don’t fear you, friend.
Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, “The bhikkhuni Uppalavanna knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.
Doctrine-True Practice of The Path Shown by The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata
Theory and Practice
So we continue this practice until we have a feeling for it. After a time, depending on our own particular tendencies and abilities, a new kind of understanding arises. This we call Investigation of Dhamma (Dhamma-vicaya), and this is how the Seven Factors of Awakenment arise in the mind. Investigation of Dhamma is one of them. The others are: Mindfulness, Energy, Rapture, Tranquillity, concentration (Samadhi) and Equanimity.
If we have studied about the Seven Factors of Awakenment, then we’ll know what the books say, but we won’t have seen the real Factors of Awakenment. The real Factors of Awakenment arise in the mind. Thus the Buddha came to give us all the various Teachings. All the Awakened Ones have taught the way out of suffering and Their recorded Teachings we call the theoretical Teachings. This theory originally came from the practice, but it has become merely book learning or words.
The real Factors of Awakenment have disappeared because we don’t know them within ourselves, we don’t see them within our own minds. If they arise they arise out of practice. If they arise out of practice then they are factors leading to Awakenment of the Dhamma and we can use their arising as an indication that our practice is correct. If we are not practicing rightly, such things will not appear.
If we practice in the right way, then we can see Dhamma. So we say to keep on practicing, feeling your way gradually and continually investigating. Don’t think that what you are looking for can be found anywhere other than right here.
One of my senior disciples had been learning Pali at a study Temple before he came here. He hadn’t been very successful with his studies so he thought that, since monks who practice meditation are able to see and understand everything just by sitting, he would come and try this way. He came here to Wat Pah Pong with the intention of sitting in meditation so that he would be able to translate Pali scriptures. He had this kind of understanding about practice. So I explained to him about our way. He had misunderstood completely. He had thought it an easy matter just to sit and make everything clear.
If we talk about understanding Dhamma then both study monks and practice monks use the same words. But the actual understanding which comes from studying theory and that which comes from practicing Dhamma is not quite the same. It may seem to be the same, but one is more profound. One is deeper than the other. The kind of understanding which comes from practice leads to surrender, to giving up. Until there is complete surrender we persevere — we persist in our contemplation. If desires or anger and dislike arise in our mind, we aren’t indifferent to them. We don’t just leave them but rather take them and investigate to see how and from where they arise. If such moods are already in our mind, then we contemplate and see how they work against us. We see them clearly and understand the difficulties which we cause ourselves by believing and following them. This kind of understanding is not found anywhere other than in our own pure mind.
It’s because of this that those who study theory and those who practice meditation misunderstand each other. Usually those who emphasize study say things like this, “Monks who only practice meditation just follow their own opinions. They have no basis in their Teaching.” Actually, in one sense, these two ways of study and practice are exactly the same thing. It can help us to understand if we think of it like the front and back of our hand. If we put our hand out, it seems as if the back of the hand has disappeared. Actually the back of our hand hasn’t disappeared anywhere, it’s just hidden underneath. When we say that we can’t see it, it doesn’t mean that it has disappeared completely, it just means that it’s hidden underneath. When we turn our hand over, the same thing happens to the palm of the hand. It doesn’t go anywhere, it’s merely hidden underneath.
We should keep this in mind when we consider practice. If we think that it has “disappeared,” we’ll go off to study, hoping to get results. But it doesn’t matter how much you study about Dhamma, you’ll never understand, because you won’t know in accordance with Truth. If we do understand the real nature of Dhamma, then it becomes letting go. This is surrender — removing attachment (Upadana), not clinging anymore, or, if there still is clinging, it becomes less and less. There is this kind of difference between the two ways of study and practice.
When we talk about study, we can understand it like this: our eye is a subject of study, our ear is a subject of study — everything is a subject of study. We can know that form is like this and like that, but we attach to form and don’t know the way out. We can distinguish sounds, but then we attach to them. Forms, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily feelings and mental impressions are all like a snare to entrap all beings.
To investigate these things is our way of practicing Dhamma. When some feeling arises we turn to our understanding to appreciate it. If we are knowledgeable regarding theory, we will immediately turn to that and see how such and such a thing happens like this and then becomes that… and so on. If we haven’t learned theory in this way, then we have just the natural state of our mind to work with. This is our Dhamma. If we have wisdom then we’ll be able to examine this natural mind of ours and use this as our subject of study. It’s exactly the same thing. Our natural mind is theory. The Buddha said to take whatever thoughts and feelings arise and investigate them. Use the reality of our natural mind as our theory. We rely on this reality.
Spiritual Community of The Followers of The Path Shown by The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata
Having gained a foothold in the purification of one’s outward behavior through the practice of sila, the essential groundwork has been laid for delving into the most subtle and transformative aspect of the path: meditation and the development of samadhi, or concentration. This is spelled out in detail in the final three path factors: right effort, by which one learns how to favor skillful qualities of mind over unskillful ones; right mindfulness, by which one learns to keep one’s attention continually grounded in the present moment of experience; and right concentration, by which one learns to immerse the mind so thoroughly and unwaveringly in its meditation object that it enters jhana, a series of progressively deeper states of mental and physical tranquillity.
Right mindfulness and right concentration are developed in tandem through satipatthana (”frames of reference” or “foundations of mindfulness”), a systematic approach to meditation practice that embraces a wide range of skills and techniques. Of these practices, mindfulness of the body (especially mindfulness of breathing) is particularly effective at bringing into balance the twin qualities of tranquillity (samatha) and insight (vipassana), or clear-seeing. Through persistent practice, the meditator becomes more adept at bringing the combined powers of samatha-vipassana to bear in an exploration of the fundamental nature of mind and body.14 As the meditator masters the ability to frame his immediate experience in terms of anicca (inconstancy), dukkha, and anatta (not-self), even the subtlest manifestations of these three characteristics of experience are brought into exquisitely sharp focus. At the same time, the root cause of dukkha — craving — is relentlessly exposed to the light of awareness. Eventually craving is left with no place to hide, the entire karmic process that fabricates dukkha unravels, the eightfold path reaches its noble climax, and the meditator gains, at long last, his or her first unmistakable glimpse of the Unconditioned — Nibbana.